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Danny Thompson
10-15-2008, 12:35 PM
Anyone know of a safe reliable method for crosscutting long 12/4 boards to final length on a 10" table saw?

I am working on a rugged table top made of 12/4 x 9" x 6' boards. They are quite heavy--about 50 lbs.--and awkward. I find I can carefully rip the stock to width, but haven't found an effective method for crosscutting them to length.

My guess is the best solutions are either a Raidal Arm Saw or a Sliding Compound Miter Saw. Assuming I am not ready to drop that kind of money right now, what other options do I have?

- Crosscut sled won't work because, with its 1/2" thick base, the blade comes up about 1/2" shy of clearing the board. There is always flipping the board, but I find it very difficult achieve a clean end using this method.

- The miter guage didn't work either, because, given the board's weight and length, the resulting leverage kept the cut from being square.

- Circular saw and jigsaw don't have the necessary cutting depth.

I considered building a crosscut sled with a very thin base (e.g., formica), but then thought about flipping the sled as follows. Front and back fences with the span connected on the top, rather than the bottom. The miter slot guide rails would be tied to the front and back fences and the stock would ride directly on the table against the back fence.

Have you seen this done? Thoughts? Any other suggestions.

Rod Sheridan
10-15-2008, 12:40 PM
- score a line with a knife

- cut with a skilsaw and handsaw just outside the line

- clean up with a block plane

(I'm assuming that you're cutting the top in one piece).

Regards, Rod.

Chris Padilla
10-15-2008, 1:20 PM
12/4 is 3" by my calculations. A bandsaw can handle that easily but then moving the wood is difficult so what you want is to move the tool and not the wood.

I'm fairly certain that Bosch and Festool (Festool for sure--I have some) make jigsaw blades that can handle 3" so be sure to check them out. They cut VERY WELL.

You can also clean up the end with a router and flush trim bit.

Frank Drew
10-15-2008, 1:23 PM
As Rod suggests, one or more hand methods would probably be easiest and quickest. But if you know anyone near you with a radial arm saw or bigger table saw you might consider subbing the crosscutting out; even if you had to pay someone it shouldn't cost very much for a few quick cuts.

Getting good results by crosscutting on your own saw by flipping the boards shouldn't really be that difficult, though.

David Keller NC
10-15-2008, 1:50 PM
My personal preference would be a good crosscut handsaw and a knife mark (I'm a neanderthal). However, there's a power tool equivalent that, while a bit more complicated than a handsaw, will work and give you a smooth edge - use a router. You may have to buy a specialized bit to get the 3" depth you need, but Glen Huey published an article called "dirt simple router jigs" in the latest edition of Popular Woodworking where he advocates a simple, 2-board router jig, and top-mounted bearing pattern cutting bit and a router.

The idea is that when the board's too heavy and awkward to move to the blade, you move the blade to the board. While I'm thinking a 12" sliding compound miter saw would do the trick, most of them I've seen have a limited width of cut - probably around 10" for a 3" thick board. The router method isn't limited by the width of the board - you could crosscut a width suitable for Noah's ark with it (oh - wait, no available 120 V AC - I'm guessing a handsaw in that particular case. :D)

Chris Schumann
10-15-2008, 2:21 PM
Am I missing something, or couldn't you just use a bigger miter?
http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?familyid=4225

Or that and a support table might work too.

Scott Loven
10-15-2008, 2:29 PM
Use a bow saw.
Scott

John Schreiber
10-15-2008, 2:52 PM
- score a line with a knife

- cut with a skilsaw and handsaw just outside the line

- clean up with a block plane

(I'm assuming that you're cutting the top in one piece).

Regards, Rod.
Or do the first two steps above, taking multiple runs with the skill saw so that you aren't cutting full depth from the start, then clean up with a pattern router bit guided by the cut.

Without a sliding table, I wouldn't try to move that big a piece of wood to a blade.

Dave Bender
10-15-2008, 3:03 PM
Well I would just plop it up on my sliding table saw (12" blade). Otherwise I would;
1) make a 1 1/2" - 2" deep cut with a skill saw
2) rough cut the remainder with a hand saw (staying proud of the skill saw cut)
3) flip board over and use a router bit (need a 2" pattern bit) to finish the cut using the skill saw kerf as the patern.

Or, make a little cutting guide with a couple of boards and then use a decent handsaw to do the cut.

Scott Velie
10-15-2008, 3:15 PM
Danny,
There are large circular saws used by timber framers but you don,t need to buy one. I would glue the boards rough cut and cut the finished top.
Use a guide and skill saw on both sides. You wont have a whole lot to cut on the second pass and it could be done with a handsaw as someone suggested. If you are going to edge the top with a router then you don't have to worry about chip out. If your not, use a finish blade in the saw and tape the cut-line with 2" masking tape.

Mike Goetzke
10-15-2008, 3:23 PM
First - really, don't try to cut it on your TS. It's an accident waiting to happen. Like others suggest, use a jigsaw, sawsall, or circ. saw to cut through most and hand saw for the rest but you still need to make sure the work is supported well because it can pinch the blade or jump at you as you get to the end of the cut.

Matt Paldy
10-15-2008, 3:31 PM
What about EZSmart? I have the 4' one..

Danny Thompson
10-15-2008, 5:52 PM
Great advice one and all.

Given that I'm not prepared for a >$500 investment, and I can't seem to cut a straight-square line by hand (maybe someday) I'm leaning toward a 2-pass cut with my large crosscut sled (cut, flip, cut) with router pattern-bit cleanup as needed.

One other crazy option I found was a used worm-drive Skilsaw with a Prazi beam cutter. Anyone tried a Prazi, and how accurate and smooth of a cut would result?

Doug Shepard
10-15-2008, 5:59 PM
Here's a screwball idea. 9" benchtop bandsaw which you could probably find cheap on craigslist. They dont weigh much and there ought to be something you could rig up to move the saw in a straight line perpendicular to the wood.

lowell holmes
10-15-2008, 6:12 PM
I would either cut it with a hand saw or a combination use of a skil saw and hand saw. Cut the full depth of cut with a 7 1/4" skil saw and then using the kerf left by the skil saw, the hand cut is easy and of good quality.

Peter Quinn
10-15-2008, 6:21 PM
Maybe this is a done deal, but i would clamp all the boards to be cut together, cross cut all with a skill saw guided by a shop made straight edge guide set to the maximum depth, or do it in two passes if the saw is under powered, lowering the blade each time. Then use a hand saw to cut off the rest to the out side of the kerf, and clean up with a bottom bearing flush trim bit.

Another option is to approach a cabinet shop with a slider or a good lumber yard with an upcut saw and have the material cut for you. The shop i work in does this service for people all the time, shop rate works out to about $1/minute here, takes about 25 seconds to cut a piece of 12/4 to length on the slider. We round up to the nearest minute in those cases!:rolleyes:

Last month we trimmed a set of doors for a guy that walked in and needed 1/8" removed from each door! Took about 5 minutes to do his whole house!

john bateman
10-15-2008, 7:59 PM
There used to be a tool called a Wen All Saw. I don't think they're made anymore. It was sorta like a jig saw, but could use reciprocating saw blades, so it could cut much more deeply.

http://images.craigslist.org/011513010405010303200809118cb0bfdc1b347815650069ef .jpg
There's one on ebay cheap right now.

Burt Waddell
10-15-2008, 8:12 PM
This is a simple one. An EZ Smart rail and My 10 1/4" Makita circular saw. The rest is fun. I recently used it on some heavy wood. Worked great!

Mikail Khan
10-15-2008, 8:48 PM
1) make a 1 1/2" - 2" deep cut with a skill saw
2) rough cut the remainder with a hand saw (staying proud of the skill saw cut)
3) flip board over and use a router bit (need a 2" pattern bit) to finish the cut using the skill saw kerf as the patern.


+1

You should already own a skil saw.

A 2" flush trim bit from MLCS is $13 with free shipping.

I think this might be safer than cutting on a table saw.

MK

Scott Rollins
10-15-2008, 9:37 PM
The prazi beam saw leaves a very rough cut. It is a chainsaw for all practical purposes.
I have made this cut on my 3" thick 28 " wide 8 foot long work bench top. (made from 2x4 stock).
I cut it close to the line with my circular saw on both sides. I then clamped a straight peice of stock to the top.
flush trim bit with the bearing on the straight stock. I then continued as far as depth adjustment would allow.
Flip the stock and with a bottom bearing flush trim bit started on the previously routed stock and done.
Leaves a very clean surface. Watch for tearout at the start/end of your cuts.

John Thompson
10-16-2008, 1:51 AM
No help to the OP but.. the exact reason years ago when I started running into these situations (which kept getting more frequent) with 3" and 4" stock.... I purchased a 12" SCMS.. took the extentions off of a mobile miter stand and mounted them on top of a cabinet for the SCMS. Then I mounted the SCMS to the rear.

Closed it takes up 4'.. open 8' and will handle 10'-14' stock all day long as the average length I bring into my shop is around 12'. The cabinet is on a mobile base and sits on a wall until I roll it 3' forward to allow the stock put on the table to clear other machines along the same wall. The results are so good and so safe.. I do all my cross-cutting on the SCMS now.

Before I did this I would use a circular with guide and make a pass on each side as mentioned earlier.

http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showpost.php?p=896011&postcount=1

Sarge..

Don Eddard
10-16-2008, 2:17 AM
Am I missing something, or couldn't you just use a bigger miter?
http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?familyid=4225

No offense, but that miter gauge is no more robust than most factory gauges. It might be fine for 4' long 1 x 2s, but no way would it be stable trimming the ends of 3" x 9" x 6' boards. My Incra 1000SE wouldn't work on that big of board, either.

Danny, your upside-down sled looks interesting. Might be fun to make one just to see how it works. You could stiffen it up even more if needed by using a piece of plywood to replace some of the top slats. If the edge of your blade is less than 9" from the front edge of the table, you might run into problems with the edge of the sled you're pushing on falling off the front of table at the start of the cut.

peter de tappan
10-16-2008, 5:43 AM
The cheapest way to crosscut that board is with a Japanese style pull saw. They produce amazingly clean cuts.

peter de tappan
10-16-2008, 5:52 AM
Get yourself a Japanese style pull saw. They produce very smooth cuts and are easy to use accurately. When I first used one I was amazed at how easily it went through wood.

Jason White
10-16-2008, 6:55 AM
Perhaps a cheap way to do it would be to rough-cut the length with a circular saw (leave it slightly long), then clean up the cut with a router guided by a straight-edge. Since you're routing end-grain, clamp some blocks on either side to avoid chip-out.

Probably not ideal if you have a lot of cuts to make, but it'll get you there for just a handful.

JW


Anyone know of a safe reliable method for crosscutting long 12/4 boards to final length on a 10" table saw?

I am working on a rugged table top made of 12/4 x 9" x 6' boards. They are quite heavy--about 50 lbs.--and awkward. I find I can carefully rip the stock to width, but haven't found an effective method for crosscutting them to length.

My guess is the best solutions are either a Raidal Arm Saw or a Sliding Compound Miter Saw. Assuming I am not ready to drop that kind of money right now, what other options do I have?

- Crosscut sled won't work because, with its 1/2" thick base, the blade comes up about 1/2" shy of clearing the board. There is always flipping the board, but I find it very difficult achieve a clean end using this method.

- The miter guage didn't work either, because, given the board's weight and length, the resulting leverage kept the cut from being square.

- Circular saw and jigsaw don't have the necessary cutting depth.

I considered building a crosscut sled with a very thin base (e.g., formica), but then thought about flipping the sled as follows. Front and back fences with the span connected on the top, rather than the bottom. The miter slot guide rails would be tied to the front and back fences and the stock would ride directly on the table against the back fence.

Have you seen this done? Thoughts? Any other suggestions.

Jason White
10-16-2008, 7:00 AM
It's for cutting beams, not furniture. What you're referring to is a chainsaw attachment for a worm-drive. The cut would be a bit rough, me thinks.




Great advice one and all.

Given that I'm not prepared for a >$500 investment, and I can't seem to cut a straight-square line by hand (maybe someday) I'm leaning toward a 2-pass cut with my large crosscut sled (cut, flip, cut) with router pattern-bit cleanup as needed.

One other crazy option I found was a used worm-drive Skilsaw with a Prazi beam cutter. Anyone tried a Prazi, and how accurate and smooth of a cut would result?

Danny Thompson
10-16-2008, 10:46 AM
The Prazi is out.

I have a Japanese pull-saw, and love the finish it leaves. With it I can cut a straight line across the board, but the up-and-down is a problem. I can't yet get it square. With lessons, maybe.

Lots of cuts. Not only is the top going to be made out of these "beams" but so is the base. 16 boards and 32 end cuts in all, so it would be really sweet if I could make them in one pass at a time.

The local shop is probably the best bet but for some reason I am resistant to doing that. I guess I want to say I did it myself. "Pride goes before a fall."

Scott Wigginton
10-16-2008, 11:02 AM
If you're willing to cleanup with a router you should just cut it with a circ saw & edge guide on both sides and cleanup as necessary.

As was said before you can clamp all of them together for a long first cut and flip them individually since they weigh so much. After that it is a matter of how many boards you are cutting. If not many then I would align the second cut individually, if a lot you can insert a thin metal dowel in the first cut to help align the boards for the second cut.

Assuming you are taking off a decent bit (an inch or more), you should have plenty of room to make some test cuts to see how well this method would work for you. Good luck!

Alex Shanku
10-16-2008, 11:02 AM
Circular saw with straight-edge (good quality blade), router with flush trim bit. [as the other have suggested]

Mike Wilkins
10-16-2008, 11:27 AM
I have done this before. If you don't want to spend some big bucks on the real thing, go to one of the big box stores and get one of those Japanese combo crosscut/rip pull saws. These things cut like a hot knife through butter on a piece of wood.

Dave Loebach
10-16-2008, 11:38 AM
Cutting the boards to lenght is not the critical cut. I'd measure with a ruler a couple of inches longer than the final lenght, draw a perpendicular line and cut with a circular saw. Then I'd glue up the boards. The cutting of the glued-up boards to the final lenght is the critical cut. I'd use a circualr saw with an EZ smart guide or clamp a straight edge accross the table top and cut with a circualr saw at the precise lenght. Good luck.

Skip McKenzie
11-03-2008, 1:37 PM
Why not go down to the local rental yard, rent 10 or 12 inch sliding compound miter saw ? Use a out feed or support table to support the board. Skip